Research firm NPD estimates online gaming subscriptions generate more than $1 billion annually to the US gaming industry:
The NPD Group calculated these results by taking the monthly averages it had estimated from a newly compiled gamer panel for Q4 2007 and Q1 2008, respectively $94.3 million and $80.1 million, and multiplying the average of those two by 12 to get the annualized equivalent.
Said NPD spokeswoman Anita Frazier: "Now that NPD can estimate the value of the subscription market, it's clear that there is a sizable chunk of revenue being generated by PC gaming beyond what is reflected in retail sales."
The online subscriptions tracking report went on to show claims that 11 million North American gamers hold monthly subscriptions to online games. According to the report, revenues from console subscriptions rose 9% on an average monthly basis since Q4 2007 to Q1 2008.
The five most popular online games are: World of Warcraft, Runescape, Lord of the Rings Online, Final Fantasy XI and City of Heroes.